• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, Cultural Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
Globalising Southeast Asia: Capitalism, Media, and 21st Century Cultures (ASIA3610)

This course will explore the impact of the central forces of 21st century globalisation – transnational capitalism, border-crossing electronic media, and mass human movements – on the popular cultures of mainland Southeast countries, in particular Thailand and Singapore.  Key issues in globalisation studies will be introduced, in particular debates on the extent to which rapidly expanding market economies and transnational capitalism  have replaced the historical role of the state as key drivers of cultural change in Southeast Asia.  A central  question posed in this course is whether globalisation leads to a homogenising Westernisation of Asian cultures, or alternatively, the emergence of distinctively new forms of local cultural difference in the region. This course will relate the empirical details of Southeast Asian popular cultures to Euro-American critical theory, and ask whether the critical theory used in cultural studies has value in studies of Asia. The course will be divided into four thematic units:

Theories of Cultural Globalisation: Anti Western critiques of Americanisation, Disneyfication, and McDonaldsisation; debates about capitalism and new mass media as forces for global cultural homogenisation or local differentiation.

Buddhism, Capitalism, and 21st Century Magic: the postmodern re-enchantment of 21st century global cultures; new prosperity religions, resurgent supernaturalism, and Buddhist critiques of materialist consumerism in Thailand and Singapore

Global Queering and New lesbian, Gay and Transgender Cultures in Asia: Debates on new same-sex and transgender cultures in in Thailand and Singapore as signifying Westernisation or localisation

Globalisation and Knowledge: Debates on premodern cultural syncretism and postmodern cultural hybridity; area studies versus cultural studies as frames for knowledge of contemporary Southeast Asia.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

This course will encourage students to draw on the results of of empirical research on popular culture in Southeast Asia to critically assess theories of globalisation.

Students will develop two complementary sets of analytical skills: (1) a detailed appreciation of the "facts" of two fields of research on popular culture in contemporary Southeast Asia; and (2) a capacity to relate these "facts" to a body of theoretical work. The emphasis will be on accurately summarising and marshalling a body of evidence (on Southeast Asian cultures) to make an argument (about the forms and direction of globalisation). Students will be encouraged to develop these skills in both an oral presentation and by means of an extended written essay.

Indicative Assessment

Classroom participation: 10%

Oral presentation(20%) with accompanying short 800 word essay(15%) - total 35%

Final 3,000 word essay: 55%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the School of Culture History and Language to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2190
2005 $2190
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3240
2006 $3240
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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